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Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Reviews (Wii)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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5 point score based on user ratings.

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Critic Reviews

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Gamezoom (Mar 25, 2008)
Schnell nervig wird das Vorankommen mittels Controller-Schütteln in dem Titel. Wer jedoch auf Muskelkater steht und seine Hände gerne quält, der findet in dem Titel einen spannenden Racer, der ruhig mal die eine oder andere Stunde Spaß macht.
61 (Feb 05, 2008)
Eigentlich ist es recht traurig - aus dem einstigen Jump and Run König ist ein trommelhämmernder Hampelmann geworden. Donkey Kong Jet Race ist der klare Tiefpunkt der Donkey Kong Franchise. Durch die verhunzte Steuerung und das lahme Tempo, kommt nie ein rasantes Fahrgefühl auf. Durchgehend vermisst man zudem die absolute Kontrolle, weil die Kurven automatisch angeschnitten werden. Da kann die Grafik noch so stimmig sein, und der Sound weiter fröhlich vor sich hindudeln, denn wenn kein Spaß aufkommt, hat das Spiel eindeutig versagt. Wer auf der Suche nach einem Arcade Racer ist, spart sich das Geld und wartet auf das neue Mario Kart, das bislang einen sehr guten Eindruck macht. Bleibt zu hoffen, dass Nintendo dem liebenswerten Affen in geraumer Zeit mal wieder einen guten alten Jump and Run Auftritt spendiert. Nach dieser Quälerei hätte er sich das mehr als verdient.
60 (Feb 18, 2008)
Entweder es ist zu leicht oder es ist stellenweise einfach nur ärgerlich, wenn man nicht mehr von der Stelle kommt. Selbst mit Freunden kommt einfach nicht richtig Spaß auf, da das ständige Beschleunigen für ein Rennspiel einfach zu anstrengend ist und auf Dauer nervt. Alle Fans von Fun-Racern sollten lieber direkt zu Excite Truck greifen oder auf Mario Kart für die Wii warten. Dies wird nicht nur hübscher und umfangreicher, sondern bietet auch einen Onlinemodus.
Voilà un jeu de course qui manquait à la Wii. Ressemblant très fortement au concept de Mario Kart avec ses objets à ramasser et à envoyer sur ses adversaires, le titre ne se veut pas spécialement original. Mais il suscite un vrai plaisir de jeu pour qui aime tout Mario Kart. Le gameplay assez sportif vous demandera plus de mal que de bêtement bouger des sticks analogiques. Entraînant, vous impliquant physiquement dans la partie, Donkey Kong Jet Race est réellement un jeu sympathique sur lequel on s'exercera avant de voir arriver le tant attendu Mario Kart Wii.
Due to its simple design and execution, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast is good for the occasional play session with friends or for initiating someone into the world of videogame racing. Yet everything about it is average, despite the fact that the racing genre has plenty of room in which to excel. It’s worth a week or two of trial runs, but don’t expect to be entertained by endless hours of racing apes against crocodiles.
Gameswelt (Feb 08, 2008)
Es ist schon fast eine Schande, dass Nintendo einen so lieblos dahinprogrammierter Fun-Racer auf den Markt bringt. Doch mal abgesehen von dem mauen Streckendesign und der veralteten Technik geht das Steuerungskonzept mit dem Trommeln zum Beschleunigen absolut nicht auf. Immer wieder interpretierte das Spiel unsere Bewegungen falsch und nach fünfzehn Minuten zocken fallen einem fast die Hände ab. Wer nicht gerade ganz großer ’Donkey Kong’-Fan oder noch im Grundschulalter ist, sollte um dieses Rennspiel trotz großen Namens einen Bogen machen.
IGN Australia (Jan 31, 2008)
There’s nothing drastically wrong with Donkey Kong: Jet Race, but the gameplay really doesn’t gel as a whole. The game’s appeal will be very limited for older gamers, but younger players may find the mechanics too convoluted. So who, then, is this game for? Pretty much the only slice of the market we can think of would be furries. Not only does the game have an extended cast of lame DK-related characters (Funky Kong? Give me a break) but it also has a mode called Candy’s Challenges, starring perhaps the most disturbing female videogame character ever, Candy Kong. Does the idea of a lipstick-wearing gorilla in a tight shirt and cut-offs who blows you a kiss from in front of a pink heart frame when you beat a challenge turn you on? If the answer is yes then this may be the game for you.
NintendoWorldReport (Oct 28, 2007)
DK Barrel Blast is not a terrible game, and it's weird enough that you may be inclined to rent it. However, there is not enough depth here for the serious gamer, and what depth there is will be lost on young children who can benefit from the simplistic controls. That leaves only a repetitive, frequently confusing racing game that features Nintendo characters without Nintendo quality.
54 (Mar 03, 2008)
Jos Nintendolle tästä jotain propseja pitää jakaa, voi pelata sen vanhan kunnon "yrititte sentään" -kortin. Totta onkin, että riskejä ottamatta mikään ei koskaan kehity, mutta siinä vaiheessa kun joku toi suunnittelupöytään ajatuksen gorillasta, joka lentää raketilla, jota ohjataan bongorummuilla, joita matkitaan vatkaamalla ohjaimia ylös-alas kuin horkkatautinen, olisi joku voinut puhaltaa proverbiaaliseen pilliin.
GameTrailers (Nov 12, 2007)
Had Barrel Blast come out just after the Wii’s launch, it would be forgivable, if still not a very good game. But at this point in the system’s life cycle, releasing long-delayed GameCube games with Wii controls grafted onto them is a no-no, especially when said game is published by the system’s manufacturer itself.
50 (Jan 22, 2008)
La famille Kong servirait-elle de cobaye aux expériences les plus hasardeuses des laboratoires de chez Nintendo ? Donkey Kong Jet Race est en tout cas la preuve que la série emprunte une bien mauvaise pente car, si le soft avance quelques idées intéressantes, il ne parvient pas à les concrétiser de manière suffisamment efficace pour offrir le plaisir de jeu attendu.
UOL Jogos (Oct 24, 2007)
Donkey Kong e seus fãs mereciam mais. A idéia por trás de "Barrel Blast" deveria ter sido implementada tal qual o plano original - no GameCube, com os bongôs, e olhe lá. No Wii, os controles não correspondem em um nível satisfatório. Como se não bastasse, falta ao jogo sensação de velocidade e, principalmente, inspiração de uma maneira geral. Como está, não passa de uma cópia mal-feita de "Mario Kart", publicada sob o selo da Nintendo. Não pague este mico.
50 (Feb 07, 2008)
Concluyendo ya el análisis debemos calificar a Donkey Kong Jet Race como un juego decepcionante. Estamos ya algo hartos de que Nintendo maltrate a Donkey Kong, con apuestas musicales, o experimentos plataformeros que pese a su calidad, se alejan muy, mucho de la mejor etapa del personaje bajo el auspicio de Rare. Queremos un plataformas 3D de Donkey Kong que pueda mirar de tú a tú a Super Mario Galaxy, y dejar los experimentos bien para otros personajes, o al menos llegar a estándares de calidad que no desprestigien a nuestro querido simio. Si queréis un arcade de velocidad de calidad, deberéis esperar a Mario Kart para Wii, ya que este Donkey Kong Jet Race no resulta recomendable ni para los fans acérrimos de Donkey, quienes dispondrán de más leña al fuego para cargar contra Nintendo.
If you want arcade racing on the Wii, dust off your copy of Excite Truck or just wait it out for Mario Kart.
GameDaily (Oct 15, 2007)
Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast could've been a great racing game, but the awful controls keep it from being enjoyable. It's without question one of Nintendo's poorest Wii games.
Cheat Code Central (Oct 16, 2007)
While it is short and somewhat disappointing, Barrel Blast did make interesting use of the Wii's motion-sensing controls. Although they didn't work as well as they should have, they still made the game a unique experience. There are no other games out there that let you race around with rocket bongos that are fueled by arm pain. Perhaps that is for the best. Still, with just a slight reworking of the controls, more modes, and a better multiplayer component, this really could have been a great game. As it stands though, this is just a fairly lackluster and easily forgettable title.
Once in a while, a sense of speed may be experienced, but it's short-lived and certainly not worth the effort required to ignore every other flaw present. While Nintendo has been proving lately that core games are still important to them, it's clear that this title was meant to be released a year or two back on the old GameCube. The poor gorilla's namesake has been slipping away in recent years ever since this "bongo" business came into play and every one of his recent games revolves around a simplistic control scheme. Despite how good some of those titles have been, this is a new low for the ape's name, to be sure. Avoid this one, as it's not even worth the time of casual racing fans unless they are truly desperate for a game that involves moving forward along the basic semblance of a race track, in which case, a brief rental should suffice.
Video Game Talk (Oct 30, 2007)
While it's understandable that Nintendo would want to showcase one of their signature characters in a Wii game, it quickly becomes obvious that Donkey Kong Barrel Blast should not have made the jump from the GameCube. The game is lacking two of the most critical components that any good racing game needs to have: tight, responsive controls and a sense of speed. Even moderately-skilled players will get through all that this game has to offer in a few hours, and the multiplayer options do nothing to add any fun. There's no desire to go back and set new records. After a few plays, you probably won't even care how many characters that there are left to unlock. Wait for Mario Kart Wii or purchase Mario Kart 64 on the Virtual Console instead of impulsively buying this game. Rent if you must, but there are much better uses for $50 out there.
Daily Game (Oct 31, 2007)
Donkey Kong Barrel Blast clearly began its life as a game to justify holding onto the Donkey Bongos. During the GameCube's existence, that would've been just fine. But Donkey Kong Barrel Blast is a Wii title now, and with that comes an expectation of Wii owners that games have accurate controls and provide something more than a proof-of-concept experience. Looking at the bigger picture, though, video game fans everywhere have come to expect high-quality products from Nintendo, and Donkey Kong Barrel Blast simply isn't one. Considering the great leap Super Paper Mario made from GameCube to Wii, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast is an utter disappointment. With poor gameplay and too-strict rules for unlocking new races, this is one game Nintendo should've let die. Instead, it'll just kill you to play it.
Gameplanet (Feb 11, 2008)
All things considering, DK's Jet Race is very simplistic. Winning against the CPU is hardly a challenge, you shouldn't find yourself getting any lower that gold first time in the Grand Prix's. The challenges change things up a bit, but really, they are just as easy. The game is presented well and plays smoothly, though this doesn't make up for the lack of any real challenge. The control system is fairly easy to handle but can have issues at times. I found that sometimes when i try to accelerate i would jump involuntarily, the game thinking i had shaken the controls simultaneously, not alternately. This sometimes caused for frustrations as i helplessly descended from my jump into an obstacle. DK's Jet Race would suit a younger audience, as the more accomplished gamer would become bored very quickly.
I've also experience better speed when I'm out driving with my grandma. No matter how eager you are for Mario Kart, avoid Barrel Blast because it won't make the wait any easier.
GamePro (US) (Oct 17, 2007)
Controls aside, the gameplay itself is nothing to be excited about. The courses are clumsily designed, the races are repetitive, and the characters are unmemorable. In short, Barrel Blast is offensive to all the senses. It feels wrong, looks awful, and it isn't a treat for the ears, either. As for taste and smell, the rancid nature of this game is likely to give you acid reflux. This game is anything but a blast.
GameSpot (Oct 11, 2007)
It's impossible to know whether or not Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast would have been any better with bongo drum controls instead of Wii Remote action, but in truth, it doesn't really matter. The lackluster track designs, inconsistent difficulty level, and no-personality presentation are more than enough to sink the game all by themselves, and when you throw in the wonky motion controls, that just sinks things even deeper. Skip out on Barrel Blast.
Lawrence (Oct 12, 2007)
This game features quite possibly the most annoying control scheme in history. It’s a shining example of “motion control” translating to “flailing your arms wildly and watching what happens”. To accelerate, you have to make drum motions quickly with the Wiimote and nunchuk, and turning is done by drumming to one side. Your arms will start to get tired after one race, and the tracks and weapons are generic and uninspired. It doesn’t help that it visually resembles a Nintendo 64 game, either.
IGN (Oct 15, 2007)
If DK Barrel Blast would have released well over a year ago on GameCube like it was supposed to the title might have had a chance at being remotely entertaining. After some seriously basic motion control, the removal of bongo support (even for those that already invested in the accessory), and some quick Mii integration the game has become a garbled mess of slow racing, shallow gameplay, and an overall boring experience. The only thing more depressing about the franchise’s move from killer sidescroller to 3D joke is the realization that this game will still sell, encouraging those in charge to continue the bastardization of a character just as old as Mario himself. We expect excellence from the Mario franchise, only to be let down time and time again by DK’s fumbling franchise. Can we give this license back to Rare?
Gaming Target (Dec 07, 2007)
One could argue that the inclusion of bongo support would have significantly improved Donkey Kong Barrel Blast. In reality this is probably not true. Even though the controls would be less exhausting, the tepid gameplay would remain. Although Nintendo and Paon must be applauded for trying to do something innovative, a racer like this simply does not work with a rhythm based control scheme. Those Wii owners looking for a quality racing title would be better off waiting until next year for Mario Kart Wii.
The Wiire (Oct 18, 2007)
In the meantime, gamers looking a their kart racing fix should take a look at the Virtual Console on the Wii Shop Channel. Mario Kart 64 is available for download for 1,000 Wii Points (ten US dollars), and that game provides just as simple of an appeal with much improved racing action. Judged on its own merits, Barrel Blast is a below-average game. Judged against what's already available for Wii for those with access to the Virtual Console, it's hard to imagine anyone choosing Barrel Blast over the superior Virtual Console game.
Gamekult (Jan 22, 2008)
Le studio PAON avait réussi deux sympathiques jeux nomades, DK : King of Swing et Jungle Climber, il s'en sort nettement moins bien au salon avec ce Donkey Kong Jet Race. Son manque de richesse dans le contenu et le gameplay, malgré un système de combos intéressant, ne donne pas envie d'y revenir souvent, même accompagné. Correct sur le plan graphique et musical, le titre souffre cependant d'une lisibilité pas toujours optimale et d'un manque de punch notable, alors que les bras du joueurs sont continuellement mis à contribution. A petit prix ou en Wii Ware téléchargeable, on lui aurait pardonné, mais au plein tarif, il vaut mieux garder son pécule pour le prochain Mario Kart ou rejouer aux anciens épisodes.
GamesRadar (Feb 08, 2008)
With Mario Kart Wii on the horizon, there can be no possible reason to drop cash on Barrel Blast. The ‘it’s a game for children’ or ‘it’s a game for parties’ excuse doesn’t fly nearly as well as the rocketeering Kongs and Kremlings. It’s still the worst game to wear the Nintendo badge since the late nineties, and still a Game & Watch game married to sub-GameCube graphics.
40 (UK) (Dec 12, 2007)
Even if the controls worked, the horrible racers, presentation and music mean that this game could never be anything more than bland. It's got no speed, no personality, and the characters will scare small children. Barrel Blast is an abortive and uncannily anachronistic attempt at a character racer with impossible controls, dreadful, imbalanced AI and boring design. It's not even worth the hour of your time that it takes to get completely sick of it.
40 (Jan 28, 2008)
Wii games sometimes get some unfair criticism because of the audience they're trying to appeal to, but Donkey Kong Jet Race is a lacklustre effort no matter who plays it. The fairly generic presentation and cheating AI could be overlooked if the core gameplay was great, but it's not. The motion sensitive controls are fiddly and at times completely broken, making Jet Race mildly fun for about an hour at most.
Gameplayer (Jan 29, 2008)
In theory, it should be ace. Take what is essentially Mario Kart, populate it with the many characters that have cropped up in DK Country over the years, and change it to an air race scenario rather than one with wheels. Reality, however, often sucks, and the strapping-on of jet-propelled barrels instead of wheels is the biggest issue here, due, in whole, to the craptastic control method. Alternate your waggles to speed up, wiggle the nunchuk to turn left, woggle the Wii-mote to turn right, flick the two to jump, flippy-flop them horizontally to cruise in the midst of a jump. Crazy! If you forget to make a physiotherapy appointment beforehand you’ll have stuff-all hope of picking up a phone, let alone dialling, after a decent session with DKJR. And if you DO manage a decent sesh then you have patience the likes of which saints canonise.
39 (Oct 12, 2007)
It's impossibly hard to like Donkey Kong Barrel Blast; it's fundamentally flawed from the start. The Wii-waggle controls hope to compensate for what is otherwise a poorly designed Mario Kart wannabe, but it all backfires - they're the game's leading failure. The waggle scheme is something we might have fell for back at Wii launch, but almost a year later, they're recognizably shallow. Surprisingly enough, the title is published by the same house that made Mario Kart - so there's undoubtedly an element of disappointment when it comes to the racer. Indeed, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast is one of the worst Nintendo games it recent memory.
38 (Feb 04, 2008)
Tadaaaa - wir präsentieren Donkey Kong Jet Race: Eine Art Mario Kart in der Luft, mit Affen samt Bongos. Nur ohne Bongos, stattdessen mit einer Fuchtelsteuerung, die die Bezeichnung »schwammig« nicht mehr verdient hat - über weite Teile fühlt man sich weniger als Affe mit Raketenbongos, sondern vielmehr wie eine betrunkene Flipperkugel mit Fell. Mit konventioneller Steuerung wäre das Spiel kein Hit, aber wenigstens ganz unterhaltsam gewesen; gute Spielmodi und nette Präsentation sind ja immer gern gesehen. So allerdings bleibt es ein Beispiel dafür, wie man mit verhunzter Steuerung ein ganzes Spiel versauen kann. Vom guten Namen des Protagonisten ganz zu schweigen...
37 (Feb, 2008)
I had a hard time playing through Donkey Kong Barrel Blast to get the info I needed for this review, not only because my wrist is a brittle twig, but because I really wanted to write a positive review for the game. It looks great, and it makes me remember the days of playing DKC. Unfortunately, someone at Paon broke the fun and enjoyment of the game and replaced it with boredom and frustration, which sucks because I had such high hopes, having played DK Jungle Climber. Sadly, I had absolutely no fun actually playing Barrel Blast. I’m just going to have to sit around and dream of what could have been.
That said, even fans of the DK franchise will have to ultimately admit Jet Race is a disappointment. As hind-sighted the experience may now be, Diddy Kong Racing this ain't. While one should not dwell on the past and what could've been with DK Bongos at the helm, the fact remains that not only is Donkey Kong Jet Race far from the intuitive experience the Wii platform strives for, it's also a downright uneventful game. Donkey Kong Jet Race is yet another example of the uneventful consequences of uninspired motion controls.
1UP (Oct 16, 2007)
A lot has been said about how the Wii has attracted new people to videogames, and this is certainly true. In plenty of cases, the system has done a great job at reducing the barrier of the controller, making it easier to interact with games thanks to simple motion controls. In a game like Barrel Blast, however, it's added a whole lot of complexity -- not to mention physical exhaustion -- to what would otherwise be simple steering controls. Sure, the gameplay is different, but is it necessarily better? In Barrel Blast's case, certainly not. Would the game have been more fun with the precision offered by a standard controller? Absolutely. If this is the future of videogaming, Nintendo, please count me out.
Nintendo Life (Mar 23, 2009)
When everything is said and done, Barrel Blast is literally a waste of money. The game has very little depth and the motion controls are broken. There is however Mii support but unfortunately, you can’t race as a Mii. Barrel Blast also has a lot of repetitive music but the music fits the game quite well. There is also no point in playing this game again after a few hours besides trying to complete all the challenges and play multiplayer with friends and family. Then again, if you didn’t like the single player mode you're probably not going to like the multiplayer mode.
Game Tap (Oct 16, 2007)
But even if you get the hang of the boost system, Barrel Blast still feels pretty bland. Even the powerups don't offer any major advantage, since most of them involve stealing bananas or throwing out obstacles that are easily avoided by other racers. In fact, you can almost go through an entire race without using a single item and you probably won’t really notice any difference. It’s too bad, really, because it seems like there was a genuine opportunity here to create a zany racing game along the lines of a Mario Kart or other similarly themed games. Sadly, Barrel Blast misses the mark almost entirely.
NZGamer (Feb 13, 2008)
It’s a shame that Donkey Kong (aside from the Mario vs Donkey Kong games) has been deprived of any A-grade games since Rare left Nintendo. Despite boring me senseless for the last few hours, the only thing Donkey Kong Jet Race has achieved is me dragging out my Super Nintendo to relive Kong’s glory years.
25 (Feb 04, 2008)
There's more to Donkey Kong Jet Race than a catalogue of problems though, there's a whole variety of on-track pick-ups, a speed boost special move, all the modes and options you'd expect and it comes presented in a perfectly pleasant if uninspired, brightly coloured cartoon kind of a way. Unfortunately since there's absolutely no fun to be had playing the damn thing who really cares about the window dressing. If you belong to that weird subset of racing game fans who feel their life won't be complete till there's a game that enables you to race around the sky using a control method inspired by a love of percussion instruments then you may possibly eek an evening's worth of entertainment out of this, if you're forgiving. For the rest of us there's nothing to see here, keep on walking, someone will be along soon to sweep up the mess.
Video Games Daily (Feb 05, 2008)
There are some fairly pretty environments, and a few different modes to play around with, but the game is just so seriously dull and flawed that not even the youngest of gamers should be insulted with it. Just wait for Mario Kart on the Wii instead, as it's bound to be awesome. Jet Race is horrible. Avoid it like the plague.
Maxim Magazine (Oct 30, 2007)
Draft a memo, Ms. Peabody: To: Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast. From: Us. Message: You are about 8,000 percent less fun than having our prostate examined at the same time we are getting a root canal. Sincerely, Maxim.
GamerDad (Nov 28, 2007)
Kids will like the Donkey Kong characters and settings, but that's about it. They'll probably get frustrated and tired of the awful controls and steep difficulty. If they can get past the first Grand Prix races, I'll be impressed (I couldn't). Not recommended for anyone.
GameSpy (Oct 16, 2007)
In the end, this game just has too much going against it to recommend to any gamer. Level design is bland, weapons are bland, control is a novelty at best and irritating at worst. As a free Wii launch pack-in meant to familiarize people with Remote/nunchuk controls, this game might have gotten a pass. Right now the only thing it gets is a big thumbs-down.
Game Revolution (Oct 18, 2007)
Even at his best during his SNES revival, Donkey Kong’s solo games always felt like a half-baked diversion compared to the triumphs of his former nemesis. While Mario was taking on the (Super Mario) world, Donkey Kong was off gallivanting in the (Donkey Kong) country. As the slacker par excellence, Donkey Kong would seem to be more suited to the casual gaming era than any other character in the Mario pantheon. Instead, as with any aging slacker, he’s simply a frustrating bore.